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Why DenverStiffs.com? An open letter to our readers...

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My family and I have purchased season tickets and attended Nuggets games since the team was in the ABA. A season ticket holder is essentially a taxpayer – you contribute to the million dollar salaries of your team’s managers, coaches and players. And as a taxpayer, you have every right to demand an earnest effort both on the basketball floor, inside the locker room and within the front office. Moreover, we should never forget the credo that all fans must abide by: if we care more about the outcome of the game than the coach or the players, they no longer deserve our support and instead, deserve our harshest criticism.

I launched FireGeorgeKarl.com back in February because I feared that the coach (and by proxy, the players) of the team I love didn’t care as much about the regular season as we, the fans, did. And worse – with a few exceptions – not only was no one in the Denver media calling head coach George Karl out for the team’s underachieving performance, but they were routinely taking up for him. Meanwhile, every Nuggets fan I spoke to was furious with Karl, and who was speaking up for them?

So something had to be done.

By starting this blog, my hope was that by putting some much needed, and frankly overdue, public heat on Karl that he would guide the Nuggets out of the cellar of the Western Conference Playoffs for once and deliver one measly first-round series victory. And that if he didn’t, I hoped the Nuggets would make a change at head coach. Much to my disappointment, neither of these wishes came to fruition and Karl will be back on the bench next season.

But since starting this blog, I quickly learned that the Nuggets organization has a myriad of problems that go well beyond George Karl. And for me – or anyone – to make one guy the scapegoat for five straight years of playoff futility, not only does a disservice to him but lets others responsible for this ineptitude off the hook.

For example, General Manager Mark Warkentien was the co-architect of the Portland Jailblazers team that almost ruined basketball as we know in the city of Portland. And while I appreciate Mr. Kroenke's willingness to open his wallet to put a winning team on the floor, I don’t want us turning into Warkentien’s Jailblazers or worse, the New York Knicks of the Western Conference.

And, of course, there are the players. In spite of the assortment of (very) public incidents – criminal or otherwise – that these current Nuggets have been a part of, I can’t help but root for them. But the reality is that in addition to not being coached properly, these players don’t fit well together and, in some cases, have worn out their welcome in Denver.

I always intended this website to be much more than a "fire the coach" blog and grow into a general Nuggets forum that speaks the brutally honest truth on behalf of Nuggets fans everywhere. Therefore, while continuing to advocate for a coaching change, I will be advocating for other changes within the organization and to the roster, as well – and that’s why this blog will now be known as DenverStiffs.com (for the uninitiated, that’s an homage to former head coach Doug Moe who called all his players "stiffs" – that means you, Blair Rasmussen!). To keep tabs on those who disappoint us in Nuggets Nation, I have produced a "STIFF LIST" to be a regular feature at the top right corner of the homepage.

I hope that all of you will continue to follow this blog regularly, especially given that many of you have been asking me to turn this into a general Nuggets blog from Day One. And in case you’re curious, FireGeorgeKarl.com will remain live and point here.

Before I sign off tonight, I want to thank a few people for making this blog an amazing experience thus far. First off – I want to thank my most active readers: chillz, markp, danjustin, joanna (all the way from China!), Kieran, Nataly, geerten (from Holland!), blue, Petey, Lucas, Andrew (from Australia!), j2y2k3, Iverson Warrior, Lord Sam, Murl, kenoshakid, Nadum, ohxten, DeAngelo Starnes, shonuff101 and even my nemesis, Shaun. You guys have been amazing not just with your loyalty to the blog, but with your thoughtful, detailed comments and analysis. Keep it up!

Secondly, I want to thank Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News, who has treated me as a colleague (and not some internet hack) from our first conversation onward, and had the guts to bring up this site to George Karl in person. I also want to thank the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla and Woody Paige for being responsive and supportive, and Benjamin Hochman for giving this blog some mention, too.

I want to give a quick shout out to ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons and Henry Abbott (of True Hoop fame), and Brett Edwards of AOL Fanhouse and Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com for mentioning this blog on several occasions. And of course, many thanks to the "dean of sports bloggers," Will Leitch at Deadspin, for having my back when Coach Karl’s "lawyer" threatened to sue me.

Thirdly, I want to thank the folks who have interviewed me, 850 KOA’s Dave Logan and Lois Melkonian, Dino Costa and Fox News 11’s Eric Goodman for hearing me out when the blog first launched. I also want to thank 104.3 The Fan’s Mike Evans and Sandy Clough whom – even though we got off to a rocky start together – have since agreed to disagree in a cordial manner and I know they only want what’s best for the Nuggets and their fans at the end of the day.

And most importantly, I want to thank Bret Adams, Esq., Coach Karl’s "lawyer" from Columbus, Ohio. If it wasn’t for Mr. Adam’s obnoxious, inappropriate and unprofessional threat of a lawsuit against me, this blog would have never received the notoriety and popularity that it has. Bret, I couldn’t have gotten this far without you.

So let’s get the Nuggets a Larry O’Brien trophy already!

Sincerely,

Andrew